Kate Casanova attributes her visual vocabulary and idea of beauty to a playing in the woods of northern Minnesota as a child. She looks carefully at something ordinary like a mushroom and creates sculpture, collage, performance art or an installation in order to get the viewer to see the extraordinary traits within it.
Try to look at nature with a new eye. Make a two-column chart and label the columns THE ORDINARY EYE and THE ARTIST’S EYE. Now pick an object in nature. In the first column, list traits such as its size, color, shape, pattern, smell and sound. In the second column, use similes and metaphors to write more poetic descriptions of the same traits.
Now write about your observances when you used the ARTIST’S EYE. Did you find you had more or less appreciation for the object? Which EYE was easier to view the object through?
Make a sculpture utilizing something from nature in a new way. For an added challenge, combine a natural object with a manufactured object, as Kate did with mushrooms and chairs.